Type: Urban Trail

Length: 2 miles

Surface: Paved



Grade - Gentle Grades



  The trail connects Gray's Lake trails, the Great Western Trail, and Walnut Creek Trail Segment 3 through Water Works Park.  Although short by itself, it is an important trail in allowing cyclists to quickly travel east-west.

  The trail utilizes an old wooden bridge near the trailhead to cross the Raccoon River and is rough.  Along the trail are horse paths in Water Works Park and horse farms just outside, so be aware that equestrians may be present and crossing the trail. 

  There is a railroad underpass that runs along the river.  It is a blind, tight downhill curve so be prepared to brake (as of this update, closed due to erosion control construction).

  As the trail follows the river, it is prone to flooding during high water years, especially at the railroad underpass.  The city is generally responsive in removing silt after flooding.

Location - Where is this Trail?

South Des Moines, Water Works Park to Greenwood-Ashworth Park


Greenwood-Ashworth Park, by Ashworth swimming pool

Water Works Park, inside, off of George Flagg Parkway by SW 30th Street

Sites & Attractions

History of the Trail

In 1972, two hundred fifty bicyclists raised money for this 1.7-mile section of asphalt trail near Greenwood Ashworth Park in Des Moines.  It is one of the oldest bike trails in Des Moines. 

The trail is named for Bill Riley, a local radio personality and parks board member.

Future Plans

Planned Mileage: 0 miles -


The following members have contributed to the above Trail content.

This trail was last edited by War on Jul 9.

Upcoming Events

no events found

Past Events

The Water Ride

28 Saturday Aug 2021
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    1,390

Firetrucker Dan's Memorial Ride - Day 1

5 Saturday Jun 2021
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    2,380

Friends of Des Moines Parks Bike Ride

18 Friday Sep 2020
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    968

The Water Ride

29 Saturday Aug 2020
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    1,614

Firetrucker Dan's Memorial Bridges Ride - Day 1 **POSTPONED **

16 Saturday May 2020
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    2,530

****CANCELED**** 2020 Mayor's Annual Ride and Run for Trails

18 Saturday Apr 2020
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    3,243

Drunk Brian's Birthday Bash Bicycle Ride (D.B.B.B.B.R.)

26 Saturday Oct 2019
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    2,474

The Water Ride

24 Saturday Aug 2019
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Party Ride
  •    3,490

MayDay All Bike Swap Meet

4 Saturday May 2019
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Expo/Sales/Swap
  •    6,572

Des Moines Mayor's Annual Ride and Run for Trails

20 Saturday Apr 2019
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    8,304

FORE! Our Parks Charity Bike Ride

15 Friday Jun 2018
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    5,912

Des Moines Cycle Club Welcome Ride

5 Saturday May 2018
  • Clive, IA
  • Trail Ride
  •    13,301

FirstPrevPage 1 of 10NextLast
Feature Features Image

Body In Motion Therapeutic Massage joins as a new BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Sun January 31 2021
  •   1,811
Feature Features Image

2020 - BIKEIOWA Year In Review

  • bikeiowa
  • Sun December 20 2020
  •   2,402
Feature Features Image

Small Business Saturday 2020 - SHOP LOCAL

  • bikeiowa
  • Fri November 27 2020
  •   2,737
Feature Features Image

Lake Country Cyclists join as BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Wed July 4 2018
  •   10,288
Feature Features Image

Ferinheit Wood Oven Pizza joins as a BIKEIOWA Sponsor

  • bikeiowa
  • Fri April 8 2016
  •   19,693
Feature Features Image

Des Moines' Bicycle Friendly Community Feedback Report

  • bikeiowa
  • Sun July 12 2015
  •   454,210
Blog Features Image

Is Des Moines ready for a Bicycle-Friendly designation upgrade?

  • bikeiowa
  • Tue March 31 2015
  •   15,224
Feature Features Image

Urban Assault Ride Registration is OPEN

  • bikeiowa
  • Tue February 10 2015
  •   11,814
Blog Features Image

Our Iowa Bike Expo Video

  • bikeiowa
  • Mon February 2 2015
  •   34,468

Edit Trail

Members of the BIKEIOWA Community can update Trail information. We figure that YOU may know more about the Trail than WE do.


Latest Bill Riley Trail News

FirstPrevPage 1 of 18NextLast

Browse by City

view cities along this trail

Connecting Trails

Related Sponsors

Support these BIKEIOWA Sponsors!

Iowa By Trail

trail is open and cleaned up!!

#4 - dgk2009 posted Jun 30, 2013

all the water is down,public works just needs to clean it up,hope soon,surely they people are itching to ride it.

#3 - dgk2009 posted Jun 21, 2013

Was still extremely muddy as of last night. The area near the railroad bridge is still not in riding condition.

#2 - grandpadave posted Jun 20, 2013

Can anyone prpvide a status update on the closure of this trail? Wanting to ride it this weekend. thanks!

#1 - knettlet posted Jun 20, 2013

Leave a Comment

You must be signed in to leave a comment.